Searching the green dev wikisphere

There is an ecosystem of wiki websites on sustainability, design and development issues.

Appropedia is a large and broad site; others include small but active communities and NGOs doing good, focused work (e.g. Greenlivingpedia and Akvopedia), wikis run by multilateral organizations (e.g. the UNDP’s WaterWiki and the OECD’s Wikiprogress and Wikigender), and (sadly) wikis where nothing has happened for years, and the community appears to have scattered.The ecosystem isn’t exactly thriving – even when we’re friendly (and we usually are) we don’t talk and we don’t share as much as we’d like.

As communities we want to collaborate and encourage each other, but as individuals we’re busy – and I’m as guilty as anyone. What can help is just being aware of what is on other wiki sites – knowing of good wiki pages out there in the green wikisphere, to learn from, borrow from and link from our own pages. That can even lead to the odd bit of drive-by editing on another wiki – all the better.

To that end, here’s a tool I’ve made: a search engine for green and development wikis.

It’s a Google custom search of over 40 wiki sites. Apologies to the good wikis I haven’t named in this blog post, but I hope you’ll check that your site shows up in the search results.

If you want to who’s writing about something on which wiki, this can help. The results are a little quirky, so allow a few seconds to scan the list to find what you want, and maybe try different search terms. Give it a try, and let me know.

May it add a little more unity to our wiki ecosystem.

Communications and social media internships

Wherever you are in the world: if you’re studying Communications, or wanting to break into the field, and you’re passionate about solutions for positive change in the world, then this could be the opportunity for you. Appropedia is looking for interns – one to start in October, another to start in the New Year – to help us communicate and engage with people who might be interested in this project, as well as communicate with and strengthen our existing community.

The work will involve a mixture of interviewing, contacting and/or helping to write publicity materials. You can work part-time, and you’ll have a lot of flexibility in how you work, but you’ll have guidance always available.

There is a lot of potential to learn and to make a difference. I sometimes say, only half-jokingly, that Appropedia was built by engineers and scientists, so we’re much better at doing stuff than at talking about what we do. But we’ve talked, and got better at it, and become active in social media, as we’ve taken our message out there. We’re happy to share with you what we’ve learned, but we’re also happy to learn from you and with you.

You’ll need to take initiative, experiment and report on what’s working and what isn’t. We have a high respect for failure with enthusiasm, which is often the basis for future success, and even more often the basis for very valuable learning.

This is a virtual internship – you’ll be working with people who might be on the other side of the world, but with email, chat and VOIP, that’s not such a challenge these days. You can work from anywhere in the world with internet access. That requires you to manage your time, organize yourself and get things done – an online internship isn’t for everyone.

If you have any questions or want to apply, please get in touch – email me on chriswaterguyAtsymbol.pngappropediaDot.pngorg, or leave a comment below, or on my Appropedia talk page. For up-to-date info on these internships, see: For more on all Appropedia’s internship opportunities, see:

Feeds for this blog – your choice

To follow this blog in your blog reader, through your computer desktop or your phone, or to follow a particular topic, or the comments on a post, check our new help page:  Feeds.

It’s pretty simple – basically just adding “feed” to the end of the web address – but I know that when I first went looking, I didn’t realize it could be so simple. (Nice job, WordPress.) So, you know how to get the feed for the whole blog, or for any tag (e.g. Announcements), or the comments on any post.

Speaking of feeds – there are some very cool blog readers on smart phones these days. (I use RSS Demon for Android, but there are other good ones). It’s one good way to stay up-to-date with developments and opportunities at Appropedia.

Tech internships – positions open!

Want to be a geek for good? Help build a comprehensive database of knowledge for solutions in sustainability and in overcoming poverty – Appropedia.

We’re looking for two to three interns with a desire to learn, a willingness to try, and at least basic skills in managing software and accessing a server. You’ll be installing, configuring and testing software – focused on MediaWiki, with WordPress to a lesser degree, and possibly some other platforms and tools. Our intern team’s tasks will include helping to build our spam defenses, and building features to enhance the community on Appropedia.

Knowledge of PHP and/or Python is a plus (but not essential). Likewise for experience with installing software on a server, and experience with the open source platforms that you’ll be working with.

You will work as part of a team, with other interns and with mentors. We’ve been lucky to have an enthusiastic volunteer, Wesley, for the last few months, who’s made a real difference to Appropedia. Now we’re expanding the team.

This is a global, online project. Our address is in California but you’ll be working with people on at least two continents. You can work from anywhere in the world with internet access. That means you need to be someone who can manage your time, organize yourself and get things done.

Is this you? Get in touch – please leave a comment either below or on my Appropedia talk page, and I’ll get in touch.